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How God Uses Difficulties

by Mark Nickles  
1/23/2020 / Christian Living

            The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word “hardship” as “extreme privation; suffering”. This is something which connects all but, perhaps, the very youngest of us. All of us have suffered, in some degree, in one way or another. Illness, financial difficulties, lost job opportunities, death, broken relationships…the list can go on and on. The truth is, life, in general, brings suffering, and we will all experience our share.

            But, what if I told you that, in a life that is lived surrendered to Jesus Christ, even the worst hardship can improve you? Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” In Ephesians 2:10, we read, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Taken together, it’s not hard to see that God uses, and sometimes even appoints hardships to shape, change and strengthen us, improving us for helping others.

            More than 20 years ago, my family suffered one of the most difficult events in our history; the death of my brother. It is said that the loss of a child is the most severe emotional trial that parents can experience, and after observing my parents come to terms with the death of one of their sons, I believe it. However, just a year or two later, they had the opportunity to counsel with another couple who lost their son amid similar circumstances. Sharing their experience and knowledge of how to pray, emote and work through such an ordeal proved extremely helpful to BOTH sets of parents.

            God has saved us for good works, and has promised to use anything that comes into our lives, good or bad, to improve us, often for the purpose of improving others. What a wonderful testament to the purpose God gives those who surrender their lives to Him, through Jesus Christ! If you would like to experience this assurance in your own life, I hope you will contact a Christian friend, family member or local church to help you do so.

Mark Nickles is a husband, father of three, and a pastor in Northeastern Oklahoma. Copyright, Mark A. Nickles.

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